The much-awaited Kindle Fire has been available to the public for about a couple of months now. This is Amazon’s newest device and the company’s entry into the tablet market. The Kindle Fire is priced at $199, an affordable price tag when compared to the other tablets in the market. The Kindle is based on Amazon’s custom version of the Android operating system developed by Google. Here are a few links to sites providing detailed technical or user interface reviews:
At CNDLS, we had a chance to try out the Kindle Fire and would like to share our experiences with it. The Kindle Fire has a 7” multi-touch display and this size seems to be comfortable enough for reading and casual browsing. The reading experience for all of Amazon’s content is very good. There are some issues that Amazon still needs to work on. The interface seems a little sluggish, as it does not respond immediately to touch or gesture. The back button seems particularly unresponsive at times, occasionally requiring multiple touch attempts before taking a user to a different screen. The browser (Amazon Silk) seems slow, as well, if you’re loading any content that isn’t delivered by Amazon. Since it selectively loads the content, some of the media continues loading while you are reading the page and it is a little distracting. It should be noted that unlike the other Kindles, the Kindle Fire does not use “E ink” technology; instead, the display is backlit, which is slightly more straining on the eyes when reading for long periods. Because Amazon markets this device as a tablet, the backlit display makes sense; as a reading device, however, you might consider researching how this might affect you.
Even though we found many similarities between the Kindle Fire and the iPad, it seems that the devices were built for different audiences. The iPad comes with GPS, accelerometer, camera and gyro; all of these features make the iPad a much superior device to use. Most smartphones come up with GPS and a camera. These are some of the features that the Kindle Fire does not have. The Kindle Fire seems to just target the folks looking for a cheaper alternative and who necessarily don’t need all the options that the iPad has to offer. There are about 10,000 apps available for the Kindle Fire. You can get a list of the apps from Amazon’s Appstore. We tried out the Evernote app (a productivity application) and the experience was pretty good.
In general, it seems like there a few quirks that Amazon would need to work out with the software. That said, the Kindle Fire is definitely a welcome addition to the suite of tablets that are available to the user. The price tag of $200 would probably make it easier for colleges to be able to adopt it. The device can be used for note taking, collaboration, etc. without the hefty price tag of other tablets.